grub + travels + perspectives

Weekend Movies #14

I've forgotten about posting films here (last one was July! wuuut!) because I've been updating more on Facebook. I have this Films 2016 photo album where I put my favorite screen caps of all the ones I was able to watch, with little comments if I had any (so far, I've seen 82 films already haha). Again, I try not to give away too much but still might contain spoilers!

1. Train To Busan. This is everything World War Z should have been and so much more. I had expectations since first seeing the trailer and it didn't disappoint in any way. In fact, Train To Busan even surpassed it. There's no minute wasted, it's a suspense movie through and through! I watched this film with my family at the cinema and I was screaming almost its entirety (and I didn't care one bit because everyone else was too!) No overused crappy CGI, great plot and subplots, the cast was perfect, and with the right amount of drama sucker punched me right to the gut (well, it's a South Korean film, ain't it?) 

2. Your Name (Kimi no Na wa). One thing you could always count on Makoto Shinkai films is the stunning, realistic animation. The animation is art on itself. Tranquility and silence on most part of his films are always evident. Kimi no Na wa certainly ticks all of the box of the usual Shinkai film and it may appear like those typical slice of life animes but I can assure you it is not. It absolutely got me clutching my pearls on most parts, while also never failing to make me laugh and even cry. If you haven't seen any of his works, please do start with this one (just because I think 5 Centimeters Per Second has a slower pace than this, but I still enjoyed it as much)! The film also has an amazing soundtrack!

3. The Neon Demon. Where do I begin with this one. Hmm. It's one of those films that you would either like or loathe. Personally, I liked it because of the overall aesthetics (complemented by the amazing music!) and the unpredictability (aka e x t r e m e l y  t w i s t e d plot). It pays to watch a film without reading reviews or synopses sometimes. I wouldn't recommend this film casually to my friends as I wouldn't want people to think I'm odd for liking something of this type. Hahaha. There's a very weird vibe that you'll feel even from the start, you just can't put your finger on it. Elle Fanning was amazing in this film as well as Jena Malone! It's the type that stays on your brain and makes you scour the Internet for more information! Here's a Reddit discussion I found that discusses all the symbolism in the film. It was a great read!
4. As Tears Go By. Wong Kar-wai's one of my favorite directors but I've got to admit I've never seen his first feature film, As Tears Go By, until about a week ago. Okay, so this is way different from the likes of his later masterpieces Chungking Express, 2046 and of course, In The Mood For Love, but the film has shown a sort of preview of what WKW films are to be in the future. It was a time when gangster films were such a hit in HK so expect a lot of revenge, bloody beating and violence, but there were already hints of what would be his signature undertones of longing and sadness as in the middle of all the brutality, the dreamy and hazy intimacy between the protagonists, Wah (Andy Lau) and Ngor (Maggie Cheung) develops.

Here's some of my favorite "waiting" shots:
5. The Handmaiden. It's like a cross of his other works Oldboy and Stoker. First off, I was extremely impressed by the production design and costume. Second, the cinematography was beautiful! And for a film that ran 2 hours and 24 minutes, I certainly didn't feel it at all. It was that engrossing. Also, it's already implied in the trailer the sexual nature of the film and I am happy to say that if you take the eroticism out of the movie, it is still a great movie altogether. This is the part that reminded me of Stoker: that palpable and eerie sexual tension/attraction between the characters without using the obvious. It's dark, at times humorous, violent, beautiful, intimate and crazy. Well, still not as insane as The Neon Demon but they're definitely on the same book shelf.

6. The Boy and The Beast. I was ecstatic to see Mamoru Hosoda's latest film because I really enjoyed his previous works like The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (yes yes yes 100%), Summer Wars, and Wolf Children 💔. While I enjoyed watching The Boy and The Beast, it wasn't that up to par with other of Hosoda's movies. The plot is, let's face it, not that unique; the characters appeared to be normal at first but provided with depth as the story unfolds. The animation, as usual, was great! You'll never be disappointed in that aspect! It's very much likable and an interesting new adventure!